Everything That’s Vile and Evil about Randianized Christianity

…in three sentences:

If you get lung cancer from smoking then you shouldn’t get treatment. It says right on the box may cause cancer.Let mother nature takes its course for the next 20 years and see where we are after that.
I’ll explain to my Mom that if she be like to die she had better do it and decrease the surplus population because some Real Catholic[TM] thinks that the sick should simply be subjected to “Mother Nature taking its course.”  Hell’s bells.  Why do we even *have* hospitals? If the sick and injured are dumb enough to have accidents or expose themselves to illness or not pursue flawless lives of diet and exercise, we should just let them die–as Jesus said to do.
“Man,” said the Ghost, “if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die? It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child. Oh God! to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust!”
What’s fascinating to me is that chemically pure libertarian’s rugged individualism (this was, weirdly, spoken in the middle of a diatribe about the absolute primacy of the second amendment) drives him to enthusiasm for exactly the same thinking that motivates every lefty euthanasia and death panel enthusiast.

And so, strangely–or perhaps not so strangely–the party that pretends to be prolife cheers–cheers!–at the idea of letting the uninsured die in just the same way that Paul Krugman calls for death panels:

The mark of a pagan culture is its contempt for the weak and exaltation of the strong.  A de-Christianized culture, whether lefty or righty, will do this, because a de-Christianized culture will be a pagan culture where the strong do as they like and the weak suffer what they must.  Rand is the drug of choice for the right winger who wants to euthanize his Christianity.  Marx or Sanger tend to be the favorites on the left for the same process.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
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  • James H, London

    Us, too!

    There’s beginning to be less and less to choose between each of the ruling factions in the Anglosphere. It clears things up a little.

  • SoftBatch

    What’s the source of the first quote?

    • chezami

      A reader.

      • Marion

        “What’s the source of the first quote?
        I don’t know, but I found one of these quotes in On Wealth and Poverty by the saint ctd names. It’s available as a google e-book.

      • orual’s kindred

        …was it actually said in the context of your mother’s condition? I am so sorry. And you both have my prayers.

  • asecularfranciscan

    My freshman journalism professor tried to warn me off Rand when I was 18 and to this day I wish I heeded his advice.

  • ivan_the_mad

    I’ll echo your concluding paragraph with a bit from Dawson that is again pertinent to one of your posts: “Instead of going downstairs step by step, neo-paganism jumps out of the top-storey [sic] window, and whether one jumps out of the right-hand window or the left makes very little difference by the time one reaches the pavement.” — Christopher Dawson, Understanding Europe

    Galatians 6:2 is the remedy to this poison of abandoning our brothers and sisters, rationalizing it as their just desserts.

    • “Storey” is the British and Canadian spelling.

      • chezami

        Not counting the mezzanine.

        • My first introduction to the Coen brothers way back in college. I didn’t know why, but I looooved that movie.

      • ivan_the_mad

        Ha! I did not know that (or perhaps I have forgotten that). I suppose I don’t need to append [sic] to that anymore 😉

  • ctd

    St. John Chrysostom:

    “For if you wish to show kindness, you must not require an accounting of a person’s life, but merely correct his poverty and fill his need.”

    “The poor man has one plea, his want and his standing in need: do not require anything else from him; but even if he is the most wicked of all men and is at a loss for his necessary sustenance, let us free him from hunger.”

    “When you see on earth the man who has encountered the shipwreck of poverty, do not judge him, do not seek an account of his life, but free him from his misfortune.”

    “Need alone is the poor man’s worthiness . . .”

    “We do not provide for the manners, but for the man.”

    “We show mercy on him not because of his virtue but because of his misfortune, in order that we ourselves may receive from the Master His great mercy . . .”

    • Marthe Lépine

      But what about those saying that people who are not working should not eat? This seems to be the prevailing “principle” put forward by a lot of people…

  • Louis Tully

    That’s unfair to Rand Paul. He wasn’t saying, “It would be unethical for people to help the hypothetical uninsured man”, he was simply saying that the government shouldn’t do it, that no one has a “right” to expect society to pay for their medical treatment. I don’t think Paul would have any problems with a voluntary association of people providing free medical care to the poor, or the irresponsible (which, after all, is what this hypothetical guy is), or the supremely unlucky.

    • I’m not sure if Rand Paul (as opposed to some anonymous Ayn Rand acolyte) is meant here. Regardless, you make a very reasonable point about moral hazard, Mr. Tully: bailing out the irresponsible reduces disincentives to irresponsibility.
      However, given that tobacco is legally available and extraordinarily addictive, and that lifelong smokers usually start as legally irresponsible minors whose decisions should not be held against them in later adulthood, mercy seems more appropriate than justice here. Further, human concupisence renders us all very bad at being deterred from proximate pleasures by distant penalties, rendering doubtful the assumption–i.e. that each of us is a “homo economicus” open to coldly calculatory suasion–upon which the moral hazard argument rests in this instance.

      A better solution, therefore, is the common one of a sin tax on tobacco, since this provides a financial disincentive to smoking that may be thought to balance out the morally hazardous incentive effects (such as they are) of public provision of meriful medical care to the poor and ailing. This has the added benefit of being more in line with Catholic social teaching.

    • Marthe Lépine

      I have very often read and heard that medical care is a human right, and in this sense everyone has a right to expect society to provide treatment. Just because the US is the only industrialized country without a viable “medical insurance” does not mean that the US is superior in that respect…Part of the problem actually is the use of the word “insurance” in that context. Illness and death will happen to everybody regardless of lifestyles and social status, therefore applying the strict definition of “insurance” to a system designed to fulfill the human right to medical services by providing the financing is a distortion.

  • Matthew

    Was Mark referring to Rand Paul or Ayn Rand? Because “Randian” makes me think it’d be the latter.

    • I think you’re correct that Mark means Ayn Rand when he says “Randian.”

    • chezami

      Ayn Rand.

      • Matthew

        Yeah. She’s horrible.

  • Eve Fisher

    The whole thing about the “deserving” and “undeserving” poor comes straight out of those wonderful Victorian monetary thinkers Thomas Malthus and David Ricardo, whose “Iron Law” of wages argued that, if you increased wages, the poor would simply squander it on food and babies, (actually, the poor had no business getting married whatsoever) so keep wages as low as possible. And the unemployed – for any reason – should be either shunted out of town or put into workhouses. Dickens neither invented nor exaggerated.

    • Marthe Lépine

      I have also seen, fairly often in fact, that attitude referred to as “Calvinist”, but so far I have not been able to find any clear explanation of its relationship to that particular heresy. Would someone have the time to give me an explanation, please?

      • Heather

        I expect it probably has to do with the Calvinist notion that God only loves the elect, and everyone else is damned to show how just and powerful God is. In “social Calvinism” the (rich) elect get to have nice things, while the poor must all be miserable sinners just there to show the elect how great it is to be rich and saved by comparison.

      • Eve Fisher

        John Calvin argued for predestination, that some are the elect, saved from and through all eternity, and most are damned, from and through all eternity. However, he also said that we humans couldn’t tell who was who, and the signs of election were easily faked by the devil. But, that a prosperous, godly life MIGHT be the sign of election. To give Calvin his due, he also said that wealth, given by God, must be shared (voluntarily) with the poor, or else there was an excellent chance you were being played with by the devil. In any case, that was used by future – mostly Victorian – theologians to prove that the poor were the devil’s children, idle and shifty, and the rich were God’s chosen. The gospel of prosperity…

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    I guess when the bleeding started after my first birth, they should have let me die, since hey, I knew pregnancy could be risky.

  • peggy

    Ron Paul was talking of freedom to make choices. And we take risks with that freedom. The video did not get to him saying what should be done with uninsured, whether they should be denied care. He spoke of whether govt should pay for the care. The man is a pro-life doctor. I can’t imagine he does not have compassion in such cases.

    Frankly, it is the socialized medicine system in which the government will determine that citizens who do not follow the defined behavior will NOT be entitled to medical treatment, or the costs of it covered. The budget will be the top priority.

    In a private insurance scenario, insurance cos may set such conditions or not. The people would have choices in a competitive market. (Insurance regulation has been poorly done for as long as it’s existed. We never had very good competitive markets. Now we have less competition under O.)

    Even under private insurance scenario, there may be room for a public program such as Medicaid, which existed pre-Ocare, or even a program funded by insurers for the poor. Or private groups to help those in need, ie, hospital charities, such as another reader suggested above.

    I have no idea of your mother’s situation and have no comment on that. I can’t imagine the kind of person who would wish her to not be entitled to care or some help with bills. (Families & friends hold trivia nights and other fundraisers to help pay for care of ongoing illnesses.)

    St Peregrine pray for Mrs. Shea. St Luke pray for her doctors.

    • Heather

      I’m always kind of baffled by these kinds of posts. Nearly all industrialized nations have universal health care, and we do not live in a nightmarish death panel world. We find stories of families losing everything because one family member had the bad taste to get cancer or whatever much more nightmarish.

      • peggy

        The UK NIH has done adopted such policies, according to several news articles I’ve read over the years. We cannot depend that the government will be benevolent in care for us.

  • CatholicJames##Scott+~

    If the question was about enhanced interrogation then Rod Paul would be Mark’s hero.

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again & I am tired of being proven right. When it comes to defending the Pope or the Faith I have never known Mark to say anything that wasn’t pure gold. When it comes to politics I have never know him to say anything that wasn’t pure bull****. It’s like day and night.

    Mark people who praise Ayn Rand for the good she has to say are no more responsible or del facto fans of her for the bad or stupid things she has to say.

    Otherwise the next time someone brings up Torture, NSA spying or whatever you can’t ever praise or cite Rod Paul or his son for their views on the subject you so obvious agree with without owning Him for his Ayn Randian statement here.

    Just saying……

    • Marthe Lépine

      It seems to me that reading such poisonous material as Ayn Rand in order to see what she can say that is good is a dangerous exercise, a little like trying poisonous food for the proteins it probably contains too… There are a lot of good sources to get information on economics that we do not really need to waste time with the bad ones just in case they might happen to contain some good stuff.

      • CatholicJames##Scott+~

        Then to be consistent with your irrational standard. Mark must apologize for all the times he has positively cited Camille Paglia (a lesbian Netzchean professor who believes that Child Pornography should not be illegal) whenever he wants to bash whiny feminist types.

        The same goes for positively citing Ron Paul he is criticizing America’s policies toward enhanced interrogation because he is so Randian.

        Read Rand is like reading Socrates & I mean the real Socrates not the character from Peter Kreefe’s writings who is just an authors avatar.

        At the end of the day Socrates believed gays relationships where good and ordained by the divine powers. That is so wrong but he was still Socrates.

        I will always admire Rand for her plucky opposition to totalitarian Socialist tyrannies. What she said about charity is laughable like Socrates on homosexuality.

        • chezami

          “Reading Rand is like reading Socrates” is a statement of such bare-knuckle silliness that it deserves no reply.

    • chezami

      I oppose Paul when he advocates inhuman policies and support him when he advocates humane ones. Wow. Who can explain the contradiction? Your analysis shows how the tribel mind thinks. Non-tribal minds analyze positions on the basis of justice. Tribal minds analyze them on the basis of whether the personality is Us or Them. I’m suppose to adore everything Paul says since he’s supposedly my tribal elder (since I agreed with him about torture). If I don’t likewise agree with his inhuman individualism that lets people die, somehow I’m being inconsistent. All this shows, Jim, is that you have no idea what justice means, nor how to separate personalities from ideas.

  • CatholicJames##Scott+~

    BTW sound bites from a Youtube posting from a fanatical Obama supporter doesn’t impress me either.

  • CatholicJames##Scott+~

    One last bit. Can someone post the reactions to the question by the other Republican candidates?

    I would bet they didn’t agree with Ron Paul. In fact I would not be surprised if they didn’t take the opportunity to pile on.